Parkville, Maryland—For twenty-two years, Barbara Zorn worked for the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA), including a stint as the organization's Executive Director from 1990 to 1997. The job entailed maintaining an extensive knowledge of the industry, establishing relationships with stakeholders throughout the state, and of course, understanding accounting.
When she was ready to make the transition from her house in Harford County, Barbara did her due diligence when exploring retirement communities throughout the area. "I still wanted to lead an out-going and engaging lifestyle so I was ready to move on from costly and time-consuming maintenance issues," she said.
The background with MACPA provided her with the insight to ask the right questions when it came to finances.
"I absolutely loved my career with the professional association. I enjoy interacting with people, and this allowed me to learn from the industry's best and brightest," noted Barbara. "Oak Crest first caught my eye because of the amenities and socialization opportunities. When it came time to work with the sales team, I knew the financial and organizational structure topics I wanted to investigate."
"To my delight, the team at Oak Crest was knowledgeable and transparent when we discussed the elements of the move," recalled Barbara. "I had created my own financial plan, and what Oak Crest offered made perfect sense."
The financial structure at Oak Crest, developed and managed by Erickson Living, has two basic components: the 90-percent refundable entrance deposit and a monthly service package. The entrance deposit secures the resident's apartment home as long as they live in the community. If they move away from campus, they receive 90-percent of the deposit; if they spend the rest of their lives at Oak Crest, the 90-percent goes to their beneficiaries.
"The refundable entrance deposit provides peace of mind to my family and me," said Barbara.
The monthly service package covers utilities including air conditioning and heating, 24-hour security and emergency first response, flexible dining plans, scheduled shuttle service, trash collection and recycling at your door, and all maintenance and repairs. "It's very convenient not to have to write separate checks for different bills," stated Barbara.
A Value Proposition
"Oak Crest is part of the Erickson Living enterprise with a 36-year track record of serving seniors. We take great pride in having strong financials and being good stewards of our residents' money. It's reflected in our occupancy rates that are well-above the industry average," said Dan Plakatoris, Associate Director of Sales.
As part of its Home for Life commitment, Oak Crest maintains a Benevolent Care Fund, designed specifically to assist eligible residents who outlive their resources. No one has ever been asked to leave the community because of a genuine inability to pay. Funds are raised through a combination of annual and legacy-giving campaigns.
Oak Crest also houses an onsite continuing care neighborhood, offering assisted living, skilled nursing, memory care and rehabilitation. As a fee-for-service community, residents pay for advanced levels of care only if and when they need it. It is an affordable and secure financial model for many retirees.
"Our mission is to make sure that Oak Crest stays affordable for the average middle-income person," noted Mr. Plakatoris. "We look at our competition and what we offer for our price point. We definitely have a much better value for what you pay when factoring in the incredible amenities and lifestyle offered here. It's a smart investment."
So Much to Do
A TD AmericaTrade survey of 2,002 adults taken in 2018 noted that 81 percent see their retirement years as a time to pursue new goals. And 76 percent see themselves using those years to pursue passions they previously neglected like spending time with friends and family, traveling abroad or taking up a new hobby.
Barbara's active lifestyle at Oak Crest is a reflection of these national trends.
"I enjoy playing bocce at our outdoor courts with fellow residents. The weather has been really nice this spring," said Barbara. "I also take great satisfaction in volunteering at our in-house television studio, hosting programs and helping our excellent staff. And the aquatics center for water aerobics and Bible Study groups are conveniently located right here on campus."
"Trying something new is fun for me, too, and I've taken up Mahjong. Everything I need is here," she said.
About Oak Crest: Oak Crest, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 87-acre campus in Parkville, Maryland. The not-for-profit community of more than 2,100 residents and 1,250 employees is governed by its own board of directors, affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of Oak Crest. Additional information can be found at OakCrestCommunity.com.